Alumna DeAndrea Salvador honored as 2019 AACSB Influential Leader

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Alumna recognized among 33 business school graduates worldwide creating lasting impact in the world

UNC Charlotte announces that Belk College of Business alumna DeAndrea Salvador is one of 33 business school graduates honored by AACSB International (AACSB)—the world’s largest business education alliance—as the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders. The annual challenge recognizes notable alumni from AACSB-accredited schools whose inspiring work serves as a model for the next generation of business leaders.

Salvador, who received her bachelor's degree in Economics in 2013 from the UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business, is Founder and CEO of Renewable Energy Transition Initiative (RETI) and JouleScout. She has brought recognition to the issue of energy poverty locally, nationally, and globally through her nonprofit, Renewable Energy Transition Initiative. She leads change within the energy sector, especially for low-income families affected by High Energy Burdens. In January 2018, she was selected as a TED 2018 Fellow—an honor earned by only 20 people worldwide. Her TED Talk, “How We Can Make Energy More Affordable for Low-Income Families,” presented in April 2018, was featured on the home page. Salvador was recognized as a UNC Charlotte Outstanding Young Alumna in 2018, and she is a 30 under 30 award winner of the Charlotte Black Chamber of Commerce.

“AACSB is honored to recognize DeAndrea Salvador and congratulates the UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business for its role in preparing alumni who are leading examples of business education as a force for good in the world,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB. “The diversity of backgrounds, industries, and career paths of the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders demonstrates that AACSB-accredited schools are preparing graduates to succeed wherever their passions may take them.”

Dean Steven Ott of the Belk College of Business said, “DeAndrea Salvador has made a tremendous impact in the community and successfully applied her economics education to create powerful social change. Not only is DeAndrea making a positive impact through her organization RETI, but she is also influencing the conversation about energy locally and worldwide. Furthermore, as an engaged alumna, she is fully committed to helping future business leaders. We congratulate DeAndrea on this prestigious honor.”

Launched in 2015 to honor notable alumni from AACSB-accredited business schools, the AACSB Influential Leaders initiative recognizes business school graduates for the positive impact they make on society, and the inspiring example they set for others. This is the third time that UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business has had an honoree, with alumna Susan DeVore, CEO of Premier, Inc., being honored in 2015 and Robert A. Niblock, retired Chairman, CEO and President of Lowe’s Companies being honored in 2016. Among the 33 honorees, Salvador is the only recognized alumna honoree from the UNC System in 2019.

Now its fourth year, the Influential Leaders challenge has recognized almost 200 business school graduates for creating lasting impact in business and society. All honorees are have earned an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degree from one of the more than 800 AACSB-accredited business schools worldwide. For more information on the Influential Leaders challenge, and to view a full list of honorees, visit



About AACSB International

As the world’s largest business education alliance, AACSB International (AACSB) connects educators, students, and business to achieve a common goal: to create the next generation of great leaders. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to more than 1,600 member organizations and over 800 accredited business schools worldwide. AACSB’s mission is to foster engagement, accelerate innovation, and amplify impact in business education. The global organization has offices located in Tampa, Florida, USA; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Singapore. For more information, visit

Contact: Amy Ponzillo, AACSB International | 813-367-5238 |

About the UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business

Accredited by AACSB International, the Belk College of Business at UNC Charlotte offers outstanding business education programs at the undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and executive levels. The Belk College is committed to building strong partnerships in the greater Charlotte region and beyond as a vital part of our mission as North Carolina's urban research business school. Find the Belk College of Business online at


Kirsten Khire, Belk College of Business
704-687-7601  |  704-885-4131 |

Buffie Stephens, External Media Relations Director
704-687-5830  |  980-355-3110  |

Jason Vaughan, Media Relations Manager
704-687-1750  |  330-421-5094  |